Thursday, September 3, 2009

Booking Through Thursday (September 3, 2009)

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly event that poses a new book-related each week. Here is this week's question:

What’s the biggest book you’ve read recently?
(Feel free to think “big” as size, or as popularity, or in any other way you care to interpret.)

In pure, physical heft, I'd have to say East of Eden by John Steinbeck is my Sears Tower. But the book's span, its intrigues through generations, its twists and turns: they all made it so that East of Eden was over far too soon. For me, this is an example of the ideal book: long enough to get deep into, interesting enough to fall completely into, and weighty enough to feel nice and snug under the arm.

On the other hand, Herzog by Saul Bellow, which is about half the length of East of Eden, took me almost twice as long to read. I just couldn't connect to the central character, and each page felt as though I was slogging through mud. (Don't get me wrong, I think Bellow is a great author; I just hated this book.) I find it interesting how--at least for me--the length in pages has very little in common with the length in experience.


  1. My "biggest" book—and I'm looking at it in a couple of ways including size—was probably "Gone with the Wind." With over 1000 pages total (can't remember exactly how many at this point!), I still read it twice!

  2. The biggest book that I read was "The Executioner's Song" by Norman Mailer. I absolutely loved it and remember letting out an enormous sigh when I read the last page. It was exhausting and rewarding.

    By the way, I like your blog. I found it through some of my followers.

    Take Care,
    Michelle (Red Headed Book Child)